Hey Visionaries! By now, you all should have received an email updating you on posting schedules for the blog. Anyway, this post is great! Victoria and I have chatted on YWW (when I was a member) and back and forth on IG a little, and I've loved every time I get to talk with her! She's just the sweetest!
Anyway, she's been doing an ongoing topic of writers and community and church and life...and it's been super awesome to read! This is just one such fantastic post and once you finish here I highly encourage you to follow the link to her blog and binge-read the other great posts!
Now, for today's post...
"Help! Someone let loose the gate of wild writers and now they're storming the town!" You hear the cry coming from the south side of town. A weary old man has his hat in his hands, shaking his head, running towards the crowd of people.
"Are you crazy?" Someone else yells. "They're going to terrorize the town."
From behind the gate, you notice a dark figure. As you step closer, you see a smug grin on their face. Once you see fully, you realize it's me, grinning as big as possible. "I let the writers out." I say. "It's my fault."
All humorous stories have truth, so they say, and this one does too. As much as I love writing in my room for all hours (as long as the brain will let me), it's usually not wise. I have to get out and be in my community too. So I want to look at how we as writers should act in public; three things we should be aware of.
How should wild writers behave in the community? Let's find out.
They need to keep their eyes and ears open
Writers should be people watchers. Hopefully, most of you already are. If you're not, please reconsider. Watching people is probably one of the best things you can do. Keep your eyes and ears open in public places and you never know what you'll find, good or bad.
In order to write a realistic book, you have to be aware of all different kinds of people groups, emotions, accents, and cultures. Yes, you can research those online, but nothing compares to actually getting out there and seeing life unfold in front of your eyes.
Your experiences are just your experiences. They're limited. Don't be afraid to talk, and especially to listen to everything around you. That's how you can be a writer in the community.
They should find a proper balance between writing and community
I'm all about balance. There has to be balance in everything, including the balance between writing and community. It's very important that we write and make writing a priority in our lives. However, it's also important that we know when to stop writing and start living. You need both to be a successful author.
My encouragement to you is to find the balance. How is this balance found? A couple of ways:
make attainable goals for your writing
ask for accountability to make sure you're not writing too much or that you're writing enough
know your limits in writing and serving
Only when we are able to find a balance between our writing and our lives will we actually be able to serve, because otherwise, we'll always be afraid of what we're not doing. We're writing too much when we should be serving, or we're serving too much when we should be writing.
But when we understand what our limits are and we know what to get done, it's much easier to put writing aside and step into life.
They shouldn't be afraid to push themselves
You've heard the saying: "Just get out of your comfort zone".
We talk a lot about comfort zones, especially in youth groups, it seems. And for good reason. We need to get out of our comfort zones more. We're far too stuck in what feels comfortable. As writers, we need to push ourselves. Not so far that we can't breathe anymore, but far enough so that breathing is a bit harder.
That could look like increasing your daily word count goal from 500 to 1,000. It also could look like having a conversation with a stranger or even reading a book that you normally never would. It could even look like public speaking at an event.
If it helps you to push past your comfort zone, chalk it up to book research. Starting a new job? It's book research. Having company over? It's book research.
Don't be afraid to push yourself in your community. It might not be your thing to lead a book study or sing in front of a lot of people. That's okay. But get out there and do something.
Penning the Wild Writers in
Did you see what I did there? Penning? (I hope I hear a chuckle)
Sometimes we get so caught up in writing that it takes over our whole identity. I don't want to point fingers, so let me just talk about myself for a second. It's so easy for me to just be a writer. All I talk about is my book, all I relate life to is my book. I'm suddenly eating, sleeping, and dressing like the characters in my book.
But then I'm not a friend, daughter, or Christian anymore. I'm just a writer, with no other aspects to my personality. Even worse, I'm cutting off those in my life who aren't writers.
Don't be like me.
I think that writing is amazing. I love it with my whole heart! But sometimes I have to put it aside and just be me. There are some days when I really need to sit down and hammer words into my document, and that's okay. I should be putting my full focus into it. But there are also days when I need to take a break, enjoy some time with friends, and be a regular teenager. Neither one of those things are wrong.
Sometimes the wild writer side of us needs to be penned in and held back so that we can live.
Have you ever let your wild writer loose in public? I'd love to hear your stories.
Next time you go out into your community, remember to...
Keep your eyes and ears open
Keep a balance between writing and serving
Pen that wild writer in - at times.
If this was helpful (or just funny), go ahead and share it with some friends or family.
Stay calm and...
About the Author:
Victoria Grace is a writer, reader, and teacher at heart. Her goals are to craft fiction that shares the hope and light of the gospel even in the darkest places and share all the knowledge she's learnt with other young writers.
When not writing, you can find her singing her heart out at choir, listening to music or crime podcasts, and enjoying the beautiful southwestern Ontario countryside with her five siblings, two parents, and countless crazy friends.
Wasn't that great? I think the hardest for me is being willing to step outside my comfort zone. What about you? What area do you struggle in? Was this something you needed to hear? Let me know in the comments below!